Shangri La | Fall Visit 2018

Since Jake was headed out of town for the night to go do “camo” things in preparation for hunting season, Jane & I decided to pack up and head east to spend the day with our favorites! This relationship is one that is so precious to me and anytime our calendars allow us some time together … we go for it. I know it’s been two years now, but I’m still just so amazed and grateful that our pregnancies fell perfectly into place and we get to do this Mom thing together. WHAT. A. BLESSING.

Jane and I got there just before lunch time … so, naturally, at first sight we had two hungry 18 month olds staring at us essentially saying, “This whole playing thing is not going to work out unless one of you decides to feed us.” Some watermelon, avocados, turkey meat, and pineapple later - these girls were happy as can be. Carly and I practically high-fived each other for the victory and guzzled down some coffee while we had the chance.

We decided to take them to Shangri La in Orange to see the Scarecrow festival. Thankfully, the weather was just overcast enough where pushing around our babies outside at 2pm didn’t seem intimidating at all. Katey came up to meet us so that all the kids could be together! The girls & Graham snacked on goldfish while we pushed them along the path of Shangri La! I’d highly recommend going if you get the chance … it’s beautiful.

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At the end of the path is a Children’s Play Garden … and since the kids were anxious to get out of their strollers … WE LET THEM LOOSE and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t make memories in that 30 minutes of mayhem. They had SO. MUCH. FUN.

I’m sure that with the various social media snippets I share of our life, it may seem that Jane is a clean and tidy child, but can I just say … once that girl gets outside, on the loose, and sees water puddles and some loose dirt/sand … all bets are off and she just goes for it. I’m so grateful I had my camera on me to document the madness … these are pictures I will cherish forever!

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Needless to say, it was an immeasurable joy getting to watch the kids burn some energy and enjoy this moment! Katey, Carly, and I laughed enough to last through the next time we all get to be together again.

We ended the night at my Aunt Tannie & Uncle Gary’s (along with my Momma!) house after we guzzled some more coffee. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day! And we had three VERY tired babies by the end of all.

Count your blessings and embrace them, friends! And don’t forget to live in the moment … right here, right now.

XOXO.

Hannah

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Being a Parent is Magic.

Every night, usually around 6pm - our sweet girl let’s us know that she’s ready for bed. We usually take a bath, sing our Doc McStuffins song (she only cares about the intro), read the same book 1,387 times, then she has her bottle (Yes, we plan on snuggling with her as she has her bottle until forever.), and then we walk to her room after she kisses Daddy, waves goodnight to Heidi, and waves goodnight to Jessie. It’s at that point that I usually pick her up, we close her door, and I put her in her crib. Every night. Like clock work. I leave her in her room, she usually makes the cutest noises and talks away at the sky, and then falls right to sleep. (I usually don’t get to see her again until I get home from work the next day.)

These past two weeks have been a little tough on our monkey. Some backstory? She’s been drooling by the GALLON and her appetite has been only for soft foods like bananas and soft peas. I know all kids are different, but when Jane teeths - these are our signs. She’s the kind to push about 4 teeth out at a time. Once at 5-6 months (during Harvey … bless), and then again around her one year birthday. These past two weeks, she’s been a supergirl by pushing EIGHT out at once. I SWEAR. Her 4 big molars and the other ones … canines, maybe? I’m not sure what they’re called.

She's been a little fussier than normal. She hasn’t been napping as well at school, she’s been extra snuggly with Jake and me, Mimi & Grandpa have taken some snuggles, and we’ve all just been on a little higher alert with the “spoil” factor … oops.

Tonight as I put her down - after following our very normal routine - she had this underlying, soft whimpering cry while laying alone in her crib. It wasn’t something we hadn’t heard before - so I stayed on the couch with her monitor and just let her work through it. But … after minute 14 … I thought, “Hmph. I’m gonna go in there.” So I walk in, lullabies playing, and her little nightlight lights up and she sees me and says “Maaamaaaa” in the most pathetic, saddest tone you ever did hear.

I picked her up - OF COURSE - and just held her and swayed. I felt her relax ever so perfectly and she fell right to sleep as I hummed to her lullabies. Y’all. Parenting is Magic. Being a Mom is magic. Being a Daddy is magic. This is pure magic in real, raw form.

Don’t you ever, ever, ever let anyone else tell you differently. You’ll never ever, ever, ever hear me complain about having a child. You’ll never, ever, ever hear me complain about being a parent. You’ll hear me complain about my body being more tired than usual. You’ll hear me complain about the judgements I receive. You’ll hear me complain about having difficulty prioritizing things throughout each day. But you will never, ever, ever hear me complain about being a parent. It’s just too magical to do so.

Is it hard? Well, yeah. Especially if you’ve never done this before. (Hello!) The parenting things Jake and I have had to navigate through have been tough - and unexpected. Your marriage surviving weeks 6 through 8 during the colic times … THAT takes an ACT OF JESUS HIMSELF. The conversations you have to force yourself to have … the evolving opinions/views on things. Learning every piece about your child and choosing how you’ll react to each piece of their puzzle each day, being their advocate when they need it, figuring out when they need to figure it out or when to step in … it’s a tough journey. I’m not going to lie. BUT IT’S MAGIC.

I want to encourage my fellow new parents out there to make sure your perception is in check. Make sure you’re not wallowing around in your own sorrows because your child is going through a rough few weeks. It’s not their fault you’re more tired than usual (I mean … you know). It’s not their fault there are judgements that surround you. It’s not their fault you’re having a tough time prioritizing things. Change your perception. Change your mindset. You GET to be all these things because you GET to be your kid’s magic when they need it most.

Keep your mental game so strong that you can be there for your “Maaamaaaa” moments with open, calm, and relaxing arms for your sweet child to rest and fall right to sleep in - even if they're 35” long and their toes almost touch your knees while you’re standing. We won’t be able to do this forever … we’ve got to make the decision to enjoy these moments.

I wish I had a picture or a video of us swaying tonight to post along with this post.

Sending hugs and love to you all. Cheers to the magic!

XOXO.

Hannah